Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dentistry is the removal of decay that occurs on teeth, or the substance loss caused by fractures and filling the prepared cavity with an artificial filling material.

Tooth Decay

Today, tooth decay is defined as an illness that manifests in the tooth tissue due to more than one cause. The primary causes of tooth decay are listed as follows:

Tooth Decay Causes

  • Bacterial plaque
  • Microorganisms
  • Personal factors (Tooth structure, the composition of saliva, genetic disposition, etc.)
  • Carbohydrates (Sugar, flour, etc.)
  • Time (The duration food stays in the mouth)

How Do Our Teeth Decay?

Bacterial plaque can form acid from leftovers of sweet and farinose food. These acids dissolve the mineral layer of the teeth and cause tooth decay by corroding the tooth enamel.

Tooth decay may occur on the top (chewing) side, the interfacial side where teeth contact with each other, and the cervical margins of teeth. Brownish color on the visible surfaces and cavities are easily spotted. Hidden interdental decay may not be noticed for a long time. However, radiographical imaging is also necessary in cases without these symptoms.

Decay which begins in the tooth enamel progresses to the dentin if left untreated. Dentin is more easily dissolved compared to tooth enamel, thus causing a faster decay progression. Sensitivity may occur on a decay that reaches dentin tissue. This sensitivity goes away after treatment. The best-case scenario for the treatment in this case is a large filling. However, if the pain becomes constant, it means decay has progressed into the dental pulp chamber and root canal treatment is necessary.

Composite filling

It is a plastic-based mixture that includes silicon dioxide particles. It is not noticeable on teeth thanks to various color selections and is referred to as esthetic white filling. Once only used for front teeth, the material is reinforced with several methods to be compatible with molar teeth. By using a special adhesive agent, the filling material is hardened by exposure to light and polished within the same session.

Composite Laminate Veneer (Bonding)

Bonding is used for repairing fractures and cracks or especially shaping and changing the color of front teeth. Firstly, the color of the composite filling's material is matched with your natural tooth color. Secondly, your tooth is roughened up by using acid mildly, and a band is applied to facilitate tight adhesion. After the composite material is applied, it is latched onto the tooth and solidified by using high-intensity light. Afterwards, it is polished for a natural appearance. Bonding is effective in small spaces because larger areas are prone to breaking.

These are restorative procedures that involve the direct application of composite resin material by the dentist. This procedure is completed within a single session. However, due to the property of the used material, discoloration may occur according to the patient's habits or fractures may occur due to careless usage. In addition, these repairs can be performed in a single session as well.

Porcelain Fillings (Inlay/Onlay)

Dark metal amalgam fillings or worn-out composite fillings may need to be changed over time because leakage occurs from the merging point of the filling and the tooth. In addition, they may cause fractures and cracks due to impaired filling compatibility. Inlay-Onlay fillings are practically indistinguishable because they have great color compatibility with your natural tooth.

In addition to being superiorly aesthetic, Porcelain fillings provide optimal contact with teeth. This filling is prepared under lab conditions. After removing the fractured, decayed, or old-filled parts, the impression of the remaining healthy area is taken and sent to the lab. Healthy tooth tissue in the mouth is untouched. Porcelain fillings prepared on the lab-made model provide aesthetic and functional integrity. This type of special compressed porcelain filling has a minimum amount of leakage. It is quite similar to the teeth in regards to toughness and compatibility with gingiva.

Porcelain Laminate Veneer

The teeth are prepared by abrasing their front surfaces about 0.5 millimeters. The impression is taken and the dental technician prepares the porcelain structures.  These porcelains are as thick as nails and look like shells. They are attached on top of your natural teeth. They are colorless and close to being transparent. Therefore, they give a natural look according to the attached tooth's shape, size, color, and length. Porcelain laminate veneers can be preferred as a solution to restore discolored, worn out, or crooked teeth, staining, position and level differences, and diastemas (spaces between teeth).

How Is the Porcelain Laminate Veneer Treatment Performed?

Porcelain Laminate Veneer is very thin porcelain which is also called “leaf porcelain”.

It is a technique that utilizes a specially manufactured porcelain layer in the desired color, length and form to be fixed to the frontal region of the tooth. An average preparation of 0.5 mm on the outer surface of a tooth is enough for this technique. Sometimes the procedure can be done without tooth preparation. During the first exam, an impression of the teeth is taken before the preparation. A wax-up work is prepared from the impression in the lab. During the scheduled appointment, the final state of the teeth can be shown to the patients in their mouth. The patient and the dental professional can reach a consensus on the final state of the treatment.

After patient approval is taken, teeth are prepared and the impression is sent to the lab.  After the completion of laminates in the lab environment, the procedure is finalized by making a final decision on the ideal forms, and the laminates are fitted and attached to the clinical environment.

What are the advantages of Porcelain Laminate Veneers?

There will not be any color changes due to the porcelain's structure in the following years. Since small amounts of tooth tissue are cut for preparation, much more tooth tissue can be preserved.

How long does porcelain laminate veneer treatment take?

The preparation lasts around 7-10 days. In cases where the gingiva needs to be reshaped, this period may be longer. After the preparations are complete and the teeth are cut, you can have your new teeth in 7-10 days.

Will I Experience Pain During Porcelain Laminate Veneer Procedure?

Because your tooth's front surface is cut, you may feel a mild hot-cold sensitivity. After your teeth are cut, you may feel rough surfaces on the frontal area of your tooth with your tongue. Because of these reasons and to prevent aesthetic issues, after your tooth is cut for preparation, temporary teeth are prepared and attached during the waiting period.

How Long Do the Porcelain Veneers Last?

If the patient maintains regular oral hygiene and attends 6-month routine controls, there won't be problems in this regard. The duration can change according to usage. It may be 20-30 years or there may also be patients who may need a change after 5-6 years.

Full Porcelain Crowns

Full porcelain crowns are the closest option in hardened porcelain which conducts light in different degrees compared to the light conductivity of natural teeth. Full porcelains are attached to the teeth both mechanically and chemically. Full porcelain crowns are gingiva-friendly thanks to their content.

Zirconium Crowns

Thanks to its toughness and durability, zirconia can be used successfully for missing teeth in both the front and back regions. Zirconia ceramics include a white metal structure material which addresses aesthetic concerns. Thus, it was made possible to manufacture both aesthetic and durable crowns.

What Is the Best Type of Filling?

The same filling type may not be suitable for everyone. The appropriate filling type is determined according to the size of the decay, your allergic reaction to certain materials, and the area of the treatment.

How Can Tooth Decay Be Prevented?

The first thing to do should be regularly attending 6-month dental check-ups and following the recommendations of your dentist.

The acids produced by food particles and plaque on teeth may sometimes be neutralized by saliva only. Therefore, chewing sugar-free gum is beneficial to increasing saliva. Abundant and fluid saliva has acid buffer capacity and intraoral cleaning properties. Saliva will aid in removing food particles and dissolving sugar. However, most of the time, saliva cannot battle decay on its own. This self-produced line of defense may sometimes prove inadequate against rapidly progressing decay.

The best way to fight off decay is the regular use of toothbrush and dental floss. A toothbrush plays the most important role in mechanically removing plaque. In addition, tongue brushing will remove food particles. The cleaning of interdental spaces can be fully facilitated by flossing. In cases where the enamel is weakened but decay is yet to be formed, fluoride applications provide remineralization by reinforcing the enamel.

If your dentist believes you tend to decay, you will be recommended special toothpaste, and mouthwash to work towards minimizing this risk.

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